CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A space program worker deliberately damaged a computer that is supposed to fly aboard shuttle Endeavour in less than two weeks, an act of sabotage that was caught before the equipment was loaded onto the spaceship, NASA said Thursday.
The unidentified employee, who works for a NASA subcontractor, cut wires inside the computer that is supposed to be delivered to the international space station by Endeavour, said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's space operations chief. The worker also damaged a similar computer that was not meant to fly to space.
The sabotage occurred outside Florida. Gerstenmaier did not identify the subcontractor or where the damage took place.
NASA's inspector general office is investigating.
NASA hopes to fix the computer and launch it Aug. 7 as planned aboard Endeavour. The computer is designed for use aboard the space station, not the shuttle, and the damage would have posed no danger to either shuttle or station astronauts, Gerstenmaier said.
Flame Trench says the damage has been fixed and was not part of the United Alliance Strike at KSC.
Update: The company involved is from Houston, "Invocon, a 20-year-old company that employs about 30 people, has worked with Boeing since 2004."